I don't think it needs it for Perl.
I think it needs it because it expresses something that many
people want to say, and so it is worth having it said well so
that people can say what they want to say and know it works.
The artistic license says, "You can do anything you want with
this so long as you don't try to confuse others about what the
original is." In other words, "So long as I don't see you
infringing on my artistic control, use this how you see fit."
Which really means that you cannot imitate Microsoft and
embrace, extend and extinguish. But that should be pretty
much the only limit.
Unfortunately many of the things you want to say that way are
restrictions that are not really part of copyright law.
Instead you really want to take advantage of changes that are
part of contract law.
Therefore I would suggest the following changes:
1. Rephrase it so that it is clearly a copyright notice with
an offered contract available for anyone who wishes to do
things normally restricted by copyright. Like the GPL.
2. Freely Available is too vague. Is it freely available if
I release my changes in a form with a copyright notice
saying (like Sun does) that you need to submit all of your
changes to my changes back to me? (Under the definition in
the AL, yes.) I think that 3a should be modified to
something like "Released to a public forum under terms that
are acceptable for reincorporation into the Standard Version.
This means that it must fit all licenses that the Standard
Version is available under. Public domain will suffice but
is not necessary."
3. I think 3d should simply be "other arrangements." Should a
consultant build a custom version of Perl for someone else,
distribution might not ever be an issue for either, yet they
may wish permission to modify.
4) The permission for 4a) should only cover distributing the
standard version. As matters stand it is legal to have a
distribution that distributes the standard version in some
hidden place, but actually installs a piece of garbage.
Combined with an abuse of 3a), this could allow some nasty
games to be played...
5) I think that 4b is too dangerous. Both Microsoft and Sun
have played licencing games where you can see but not touch.
Machine readable source that is combined with restrictive
licensing does not meet the intent. The purpose of this
section is to allow ports. (eg Macperl.) I think this
should have added that it must be distributed on the same
licensing terms as the original.
6) Item 8 belongs as a list item in item 4. The AL cannot
redefine "distribute". But it can and should say that
distribution is legal if no overt attempt is made to make
the interfaces to the Package visible.
5) I think item 5 is confusing and can be loosened. Just let
people charge but make them say that it is not the their
product, and where they can get the original for free.
You might want to say that the original copyright holder
may optionally insist on a copy at no charge for
verification purposes only. (You might not also.)
I also think that there should be no requirement for the
complete Standard Version for linking. Perl is right now
developing a stripped down mini-perl. Should someone wish
to use this in an embedded product, they should be able to
do so (and the more power to them). Likewise you may wish
to modify and link to a modified version without making the
interface public. This should be allowable.
6) Item 6 should include linked to this Package to extend it.
Between when the AL was written and the present this has
become a common thing to do (think modules), and should be
explicitly allowed. Note that this is not covered under
7) The GPL offers advice on how to apply it to your own
software. The AL should likewise. In particular since
the GPL is an offered contract, the disclaimer of warranty
(section 10 of the AL, sections 11 and 12 of the GPL) does
not clearly hold if incorrectly applied. (Someone can
apply section 5 of the GPL then sue.) AFAICS the way it
is applied in Perl is acceptable. However I would want to
check with a lawyer whether, "This software may be modified
and redistributed on the same terms as Perl itself." would
leave you open to being sued for damages by someone who did
not modify or redistribute. (No disclaimer of warranty?)
8) I wouldn't mind seeing public performance explicitly
allowed. Just so I cannot say that no free software license
that I know of addresses it. :-)
9) The entire thing should be run through a good lawyer.
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